Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays Goons!!

Love, Andy
circa 1982

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

cooper and hayes

If you love her barter for her sustenance. Eat eat the abortion is about to take place. That is lovely in women. Flimsy winged setting out on the greatest adventure. There was another woman I also loved. Smashes gate they took away the needle. I leaned over an elbow and kissed her. the greatest waves of happiness as we beat up the dog. I’m going to roll it up in a rug and smoke it. And in the outside there is reddening red. I slipped between good intentions. Among the days of pasture’s beat the dog gave a little quiver. I cannot be more than the man who watches. I’m the one who should lick you.

I’m a narrow bed in a box. No wiser than the days of waiting. Let me count the ways that you are dead. You are a proper form without sound. To see the sea written in cement upon the sidewalk. Some god truly looks down upon them. Now I am going to travel. Born of sexual shock. Another tractor is invented. Words will not say anything more than they do. I am lonely unto sickness because no one’s fucking me. I cannot relieve it nor leave it. God remains in the animal you’ve taken leave of your senses. There is love only as love is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Issue #2 is out!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hayes and Cooper

The faraway livestock the faraway live the nearby crook. Whose is the voice that empties? Babel her tower doeth tie my tongue. So with his daughter they reemerge grotesque. Oh I am so happy I am so happy I like Santa Claus. I remember those good old days the warm spots on the body. Upon which my very being depends. The body beneath the wrapping. Its power which vivifies the brains. The branches of the pine drooped heavily an insufferable prick. We know doubt suffer all kinds of injuries even violations. Yes it is sex and money that matters. Jack Frost is a funny fellow he bites little girls he bites little boys. We saw they object like everyone else.

Visitors are hurried to unlearn them. Day that passes day that stays day that passes. The first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth stanzas are contractual. It’s a shame I’m not a better Buddhist. Here and there it was very light and dark. Hear her clear mirror care his error. Cross an unusual and complex meter. It should read: unpacking my heart with words. A headless man, woman, or dog calling for their god. Perch less bird fly on the leaves be heard. Slut-bitch support my revenge. Be patient I’m sorry. I dreamt we were deceptively simple. P.S. I want to resign

SWP 2005

I had to "repost" these photos - from John Sakkis' Facebook post

Too much!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Authenticity Made The Tourists Weep...for and after akp

phallic to freud, that fucking
freak felled yellows. signs to
become historical spill through the
keyless lock swung-off like
a harry smith obsession we
are left to our bottomless
sea-palms fishing these over-
flowered waters… your tune to
wail a loon with me

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

AWP Denver 2010

hey goons - Registration costs are cheapest now through december 15. i am a non-member and am looking to register, but want to get the deets from everyone who is traveling into town - also, i have room at my downtown condo, which is walking distance to the events, first come, first serve!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Goons!!

Corn is a small hard seed.
Corn from Delft
Is good for elves.
White corn, yellow, Indian
Is this kernal a kernal of corn?
The corn they sought
Was sown by night.
The Corn Islands are two small islands,
Little Corn Island and Great Corn Island,
on an interoceanic canal route.
Any of several
insects that bore in maize is a corn borer.
* * *
for Tom Carey
They have bent.
They cling.
They attack & capture.
It is a treat, a nightmare, a punch in the face.
He wanders by himself.
He lingers. He idles
In his little house.
He absorbs, and is absorbed.
He begins to bear down on what he sees:
Young faces, puzzling argot, meat, or "the postulant":
You nod and scrunch up your face and chuckle.
Let me out of here you silently shriek.
"I've got to hang up now, a man is yelling at me."
A pill always seems to be about something.
(Teddy Ballgame)
* * *
Thanksgiving's Done
All leaves gone, yellow
light with low sun,
branches edged
in sharpened outline
against far-up pale sky.
Nights with their blackness
and myriad stars, colder
now as these days go by.
* * *
The Best Thanksgiving Ever
After the meal, Sandy decided we should spice up charades
by slapping the loser's butt with a ping-pong paddle.
Whenever Ed got slapped, he farted because he was so nervous.
The ladies won, slapped all the men's butts, but then what to do?
"Take off your clothes!" I told Sean, who didn't seem like the kind
of guy who'd do such a thing--but he was, and he did. Then Jim
took off his clothes. Then John. And then the other Jim
who brought all the lovely bottles of wine. And finally Ed.
Deb came out of the bathroom and saw five big men naked in the kitchen.
They screamed, "Take off your clothes!" We all figured she would,
and she did. Then Sandy the Slapmaster, then me, then Tomoko
who kept her glasses on. We walked around the house naked,
talking about how it was to be naked with other naked people,
how none of the guys had boners, and how cold it was out in the garage.
Somebody found a big bottle of vodka. We made a no-hugging rule.
John kept trying to open the curtains and show the neighbors
what they were missing. Deb thought an orgy was imminent,
but since we'd all spent a lot of time in Iowa, I didn't think it would fly.
Jim passed out. Ed put a robe on. I passed out. We woke up
the next morning in T-shirts, ate bagels from Bagel Land, and
said, "We all got naked last night." That afternoon, on our way
to the Walt Whitman Mall, the ladies gave each other nicknames
ending with the word Bitch. Deb was Shy Bitch,
Sandy was Gentle Bitch, Tomoko was Slutty Bitch and I was Silent Bitch.
All the bitches agreed that slapping people's butts with a paddle
was something we needed to do every weekend, that this was the best
Thanksgiving ever, and that Ed had the biggest dick we'd ever seen.
(Jennifer L. Knox)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Sh Anthology Reading in Denver, CO

Fact-Simile Editions
invites you to join us as we celebrate the release of the
A Sh Anthology

Saturday, November 7th at The Dikeou Collection in Denver.

The evening’s festivities will include live performances by:

Selah Saterstrom
Erik Anderson
Sara Veglahn
Andrew K. Peterson

Doors open at 6:30 and the reading starts at 7pm.

If you're unfamiliar with The Dikeou Collection, check out their website, and be sure to arrive early so you can explore this amazing space:

Saturday, November 7th @ 7pm
The Colorado Building
1615 California Street (at 16th Street)
Suite 515
Denver, CO 80202

We hope to see you there...

Oh yeah, and the A Sh Anthology will be on sale for one-time-only price of $9.99!

For those of you in far away places, stay tuned. We will be posting a full video recording of the event on our blog as soon as we get back to New Mexico.

In the meantime...

Best Regards,

Travis Macdonald & JenMarie Davis
Fact-Simile Editions

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

& Now Review

A Review of the recent &Now Conference in Buffalo includes a small write up on Jared-Joe-Cara-Jennifer's piece, as well as some rrrecording of it! Here:

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Sunday, October 18, 2009

the buffalo concussion

i remember
the first day at naropa
sitting on the front steps
surrounded by other silent
until jared hayes
said the first word
and soon
our small crowd
a path
that snuck down
towards the water's edge
the fringe of the fringe
and continued to hold that space
until there were continents
between us

i remember that
andy peterson didn't show up
until later that night
and he sounded familiar
with panic
when he announced to an
auditorium of words
that he had driven from Arizona
with no idea
where he would sleep that night

i remember
how the bouncers
at the dark horse
thought my id was fake
because they had never
actually seen someone
from west virginia
for the rest of the summer
they called me "westie"
and made wisecracks about
my dreadlocks
and our general attendance
at naropa

i remember
going there for karaoke
when joe coooper
belted out bob dylan
and his impediments
sulked toward the door
while the audience
picked their chins
up from the floor

i remember
knowing instantly
that these people
would be some
of the most important
friends i would ever know

strange transcendences after playing mental reels over again for four years. a friend from undergraduate picks me up at the airport. i call cooper and get directions. at joe's house he says, "this is your friend!?" and they recognize each other right away.

blizzard provisions
goons and
carry onwards
and now?

do you want to keep rushing towards this wall?
i just started talking

i tend to have party narcolepsy
if i'm not careful about my posture

what does it mean to go
straight at it?
to try not to have an agenda is an agenda

when is it that i surrender
to the material?
interested in interruption
aren't we supposed to be innovative?
is interruption a structure?
so much text
just start hearing things
how much can you put up with?

reflection diagnoses
the momentary spasms
welcome back
ceiling fan
cut or not
sorry is the subject
a blind dog shits in living room
upon guests entering
the questions persists

At What Point Do the Authors Take Control?

Jared Hayes tagged andrew peterson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged andrew peterson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged andrew peterson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged andrew peterson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged you in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged andrew peterson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged you in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged you in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged annie weiner in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged annie weiner in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged annie weiner in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged annie weiner in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Cara Benson in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged jennifer karmin in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged you in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged Joseph Cooper in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged himself in one of your photos. Jared Hayes tagged you in one of your photos.

and another night sets away
head still bent tender
beneath glittery ceiling
like a dream
that can only be explained
by a stack of
smuggled books

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cantos Reading Group

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What we talk about when we talk about readership/writership or lighting up on the harvard church steps

l to r, joseph, jared, by jennifer dunlap...

this past july, andrew peterson, joseph cooper, and myself met in beantown for some daysnights of thievery and general pirate-like behaviors. i want to recap (from some distance now) on some of the conversations as well as attempt to (re?) vision gestures in my own poetic repetitions.

We walked: from the Y, to Northeastern U, to the fens, to fenway, to cambridge, to boylston, to MIT, to Harvard, to bookstores, to etc...we walked. we took the trains. we dove headfirst into a sideways rainstorm. we drank. we walked. we burned. we walked. we had a catch. but most of all...we read poems. we read poems out loud. we talked about what was just read. we (re)membered our own histories. we created. we collaborated. we destroyed. we talked. we read. we continued to walk. Joe had blisters.

as i look back into my memory (is memory something to look back into or to actively create?)i am overwhelmed by the pleasure of encounter and the friendship the three of us shared together that weekend. in fact, as of this moment, the joy of it clouds some of the fruitful knowledge making that occurred (as exegesis may be a kind of illusion anyway(?)). im learning i shld carry a digital recorder with me everywhere i go so that i might mis(re)member more succinctly. in any case, andy, seems to always be carrying the right texts for (dare I say it) coterie engagements. i'm sure it has to do with his love and attention to the various constellations of New York School.

Non-New York school related Sidenote: i smiled, and am smiling again thinking about a moment when we all brought up Creeley and his idea/use of the living-room-word "company"...and now it seems as though my moment was not singular but rather a congruence of a few choice interactions when it seemed as though no other word made more sense in its relation to us there, then in those particular momentums...

So Back to it: Andy has immediately with him at a bench at Northeastern U, ron padgett's YOU NEVER KNOW. I remember thinking as we shared the reading, volta, volta, volta (like marsha, marsha, marsha) and...these are amazing TEXTBOOK prose poems...and now i'm also (re)membering mr. padgett has also written poetry TEXTBOOKS...

padgett sidenote: those prose poems are, to me, exemplifications of a kind of postmodern reading/writing through of a modernist lineage...the manner in which (i apologize for the quick labeling rather than an extensive unpacking) a kind of "personism" infused with padgett's relationship to other new york schoolers, berrigan and koch in particular (again, to my less than comprehensive reading) combine with a line of breton, aragon, shlovsky, and jakobsen...wait...not sure that NY/surrealist/futurist labels can really describe what i mean now or what i meant matter...the reading cld stand a closer gesture sometime...Joe...what was it you said, there, then, about cinema, about padgett's imagery, about his skullduggery? about his influence and relation to a different kind of visual world...and andy, what was your observation about the actual films he wrote about and through? will you both attempt to remember for us, (or make it up again) and add your thoughts here( ).

by then we were lit up...the twilight shone through our eyes and we felt spirits in our smiles and word-voices...we went to some bars...we read from each of our newest our poetics to one own overtly obsessive interaction with ethics and architextural pre-conception, joe's pursuit of transcendence through excess, violence and desire, andy's deconstructive phenomenology of dream-presence through lyric dream (collecting) memory (collecting)...all of us landing in a matrix of shared relationships to poets, geographies, histories...a shared desire for the blaser labeled spicerian PRACTICE OF OUTSIDE...for a dialogic or polylogic approach to reading and writing (our worlds)...and maybe connecting most of this is the desire for the disruption of traditional, phallogocentric, static, singular, authoritative panoptic modes of authorship...but maybe i'm just projecting my own values upon that great time... although we didn't know it yet in beantown...the best was yet to come...installment two with buffalo addendum coming in the near future!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Susan Howe

Lecture today Birkbeck College, reading Thursday South Bank Centre

will let you know how it goes - sorry

Sunday, October 04, 2009

and again...

50 + 30

into the light directly with
what I knew to be
Myself light up within entirely
the length though I was
also it is this the
deepest this light, I said,
our light, is the same
as the awhile; then I
spoke again: I’m at peace
with being longer of this

world, he has left it behind the world, something the
living survival, indeterminate, indifferent, about Hear, her / Clear / Mirror, / Care?
His error. / In her / Care his error. In her, / Care /

my new favorite poetic form...the fifty plus thirty...

50 + 30 (+1)

Finally, finally my envelope had
finally burst and spread out
unto all the ways, coming
to dwell at the brink.
May in fact be filled
by different individuals them into
some concrete form of He
says (or wanted to say,
or said) undertakes his critique
of the notion of the

Specification of the subject-function whose status, form or value,
and regardless of Indeed, the partner is none other than
s/he who I might…I have…/(unintelligible) Charlie Parker was called.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009


Sunday, August 23, 2009

from Casual Encounters, ch. 1 Lust

I too have come to seek the hasty discretion of mirrors. I am and who is there. In content’s dream everything is repulsive and lovable. Muscle spasms brushed against regret. Admit the body is a ribbon, an ocean rolled into darkness. Admit the constant hatred of intimacy. It pushes straight through to savage interior. Originate as appetite, a neutral pornography, a monstrous arbitrary semblance discreetly reaches. They are all my screaming dolls, in what grimaces of disgust they wallow. Speak only of their servitude. Bodies split with visitors, orifices of ghosts. We deserve everything inflicted on us. There is no fragility. Flesh demands disgust and brutality.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

bostonian productivity

well gentlemen, i for one am sitting in a sweaty corner in the living room, jealous of a rendevous i had wanted to attend. hope you freaks had a cute time together, remeniscing and poeting and finding some river with a bank wide enough for a congregation of goons.
as compensation for my immobility i had, at the very least, looked forward to some undoubtedly depraved collaboration sprawled across bar napkins and punctuated with little drops of Jameson's...

i'll be sharpening all my knives in preparation for whatever glorious beef inches a bloody trail out of the closet...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

from The Frenzy

Never would you have considered me crazed, passing you by in the road newspaper in hand, kicking a stone from side to side along the sidewalk. And yet there I was finally out of my mind, free of it all. Surely you are not to blame. There was nothing about me that would have given it light. My dirty blond hair neatly disheveled, parodied my deliberate jaw line. A three-week beard shaven neatly along my neck overlooked by a pair of thin wire-framed glasses. Masked the simpleton gauged by my sorted blue eyes. Anyone would have trusted me, extending my hand in a gentle embrace of solidarity and goodwill, even you. But when I look into your eyes, I do not see you anymore. I see the flesh that clothes your body, the various forms it takes, and how it can be shaken from you. Your eyes glazed over with trepidation and woe, finding a charismatic glimmer in my tone that would convince you kindly of my intentions. And you would not be mistaken most of the time. However, I have had very little occasion to abuse intention. In fact, there has been little need until about one month ago.

A. I wrote about the bloodstream—a transformative state. It arrives amid swarms of desperation. Discern a character, an artificial waking, like falling in love with a puddle, dripping, raining down. Shake her head like a dog, with others at the meat. Elbows and wrists flex with primal questions. That was her thinking. She will not be identical.

B. The dismantled dead are either triumphant or compromised. I stole from them their trajectory of experience. The pleasure in feeling the split is the act of getting here at all. But how she sketched the wolves from memory translation under treatment. The photographs were blurry from thrashing. Beg for family. Beg for life. Beg for unknown. Days are stripped of color.

C. I became fascinated by the desire for love, that it bore such indiscriminate trust. We all wish to be admired, to be adored. We all wish for someone to hold in the night. This is our forever dream. But as you sleep, as your brain splashes through waves of iridescent, strangulated memory I stand over you, you’re body-impeded dreams, and my fingertips serrated chewed flesh. And this is your forever dream. You wish for the opening out, the walking through it, time syncopated with fiction. Sketch distant from villainy. In this room where I kept her—blank for the camera. In retrospect we are a collision of line, tracks in January beneath the permanent silence of action.

D. Supposedly daisies, each garment folded precisely to location. Supposedly strawberry jam, two scoops of sugar, television from eight to ten. Supposedly at the limits of cruelty, absorb compassion, startling rigidity. Another sealed and catalogued the tended animals. Now almost worn away, the grizzly is serene.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FROM the Rights of Man and the Rights of the Other

"Immediately, one and the other is one facing the other. It is myself for the other. The essence of the reasonable being in man designates not only the advent in things of a psychism in the form of knowledge, in the form of consciousness rejecting contradiction, that would encompass the other things under concepts, disalienating them within the identity of the universal: it also designates the ability of the individual, who initially appears to exist relatively to the extension of the concept--the species man, to posit himself as the only one of his kind, and thus as absolutely different from all the others, but, in that difference, and without reconstituting the logical concept from which the I disengaged itself, to be non-in-different to the other. Non-in-difference, or original sociality-goodness; peace, or the wish for peace, benediction; 'shalom' --the initial event of meeting. Difference--a non-in-difference in which the other--though absolutely other, 'more other,' so to speak, than are the individuals with respect to one another within the 'same species' from which the I has freed itself--in which the other 'regards' me, not in order to 'perceive' me, but in 'concerning me,' in 'mattering to me as someone for whom I am answerable.' The other, who--in this sense--'regards' me, is the face."--Emmanuel Levinas

Saturday, July 04, 2009


One night Jack Brady was seated on the mattress in his second floor apartment. A stack of rejection letters huddled on the nightstand under constant scrutiny of a nearby candle. He lifted a bladder of boxed wine to his lips, carelessly spilling red lines down his chin. Then placed it beside a stack of overdue library books and stared out into the darkness.
This was an important night in Jack Brady’s life because he decided, after much consideration, not to end his life. He planned on chasing a bottle of prescription pills with several liters of wine. Fall asleep and let shadows suffuse.
At the last moment he changed his mind. Dashed the handful of tiny spheres across the floor and turned on the radio. Trilling violins sent tremors over his flesh. Massaged them into his shoulders and thighs and stretched his arms. Reached for the wine and mouthed the spout of the bladder once more before resting it on the stained sheets.
Brady climbed from bed and stood with his bare feet on the cold hardwood floor. Legs stiffened contracting fever. An anxious sweat devised his face. Right hand flattened against the grain of the beige wall feeling the drum of a headboard next door vibrate his fingers before letting his arm drop to his side. Walked to the bathroom and cupped his hands underneath the faucet for a stream of water. Splashed his unshaven face and turned on the light. His eyes dragged down his cheeks by racks of flesh. He rested his hands upon the sink and inspected himself closely, peering up into his nostrils, sniffing and blowing, jiggled his index fingers inside his ears and then brushed his teeth voraciously, spitting gobs of toothpaste and blood into the rusted drain.
Removed a lone towel from the rack and wiped his mouth. A spider ruled an unwavering line, divided his face vertically in the mirror. He sighed gently against the line watching the pendulum sway in certain circles from side to side, the spider delegating an invisible crag before pedaling upward toward the ceiling.
Brady walked over to his only window and raked his eyes over the infectious animation below. Wrestled open the window and propped it up with his radio. Voices in the street broke like glass against dance clubs and late night jazz dives. Bodies shifting in shadows bore no explanation for their footsteps. They treaded laughter and applause irrecoverably into action. Flickering lights jabbed through darkness.
While the night bawled into the past, Jack Brady’s life was going nowhere. He made a meek living writing and creating greeting cards, distributing them for sale at various shops in the area. His specialty was staining 4 x 6 sheets of poster board with wet tea bags. He’d let them dry onto the board, the string threaded out beyond the border of the paper. The manner in which they rested on the page reminded him of message bottles romantically rushed ashore. Beside them he composed short verse, mostly lines stolen from published writers, hoping that someday someone would purchase one of his greeting cards inevitably awarding him triumph and success after his many grueling years of pedaling baubles to the masses. But this prostitution was wearing thin his patience. He wanted nothing more than to be a successful writer, but as each day passed he became more and more convinced of its intangibility.
What little money he had slipped quickly through his fingers on paper and supplies. He tried gambling on dogs like some of his idols, but quickly abandoned it after several losses. He also tried gainful employment at a number of positions: hotel clerk, waiter, janitor, department store assistant, but each one seemed to drag the soul from his very fingertips leaving him stifled, aggressive, and resentful of a day poorly wasted on false kindness and a pathetic paycheck. Though impoverishment was a lifestyle he had no ambition of surviving, his will to pursue the distinguished road of his predecessors became so pervasive that his reality allowed little else entrance.
Brady had been on rinse and repeat for about eight months. The alarm went off to the same three DJ’s squandering their wilted ethics over the best call-in sound effects contest: honk, gobble, and moo. He opened his eyes, interrupted from dreams of his ex-girlfriend, the sex they rarely had, her manikin body, unresponsive and resistant. Shower and dress and leave, splinter morning with irresolute mobility, spend money on something, anything at all, anything to gauge contribution, then return home and wait by the window until it was dark enough to drink wine without guilt, read and sleep and begin again.
There was nothing spectacular about him or his life and this, he felt, was the reason for his rejection. After his girlfriend left him, he had acquired enough rejection slips to wallpaper one wall in his apartment, which is exactly what he did. From small presses to large publishing houses he decorated his apartment with unoriginal lines from various editors who found his work unappealing or, while occasionally “exciting and emotional,” unsuitable at this time. Most of his excitement came from examining his body in the mirror each morning and debating whether or not shaving his chest and pubic hair would inspire great literature and opportunity.
Tonight, however, was different. Tonight and every day after this night would be forever changed by his actions. He realized that by killing himself he would deprive the world their god given right to the great American novel. And while he had no qualms about pushing daisies after the fact, he had not yet accomplished this feat.
What he needed was a female lead. Someone to share protagonist adventures, the mystery and eroticism of a fond love affair. He needed a story so compelling, so honest in its right it would be irrefutable to the critical eye. Brady paced the floor for several minutes, gnawing at the flesh around his fingernails, feeling the anticipation rise from his bowels to an inspired glaze over his eyes. Always told that to write a truly brilliant novel, one must write from experience. To write a tragic love affair one must have a tragic love affair. To write a murder, one must commit a murder.
Walked out from the bathroom beside his mattress and dropped to the floor. He began exercising voraciously, doing pushup after pushup, followed by a succession of crunches. He could feel his muscles resisting under tear and strain but continued forcing his body to exceed its expectations. To accomplish his goal of becoming a great American novelist he would have to experience horrible things, take actions he never thought possible.
Brady stood and walked over to the window. A group of girls dressed in dramatic club attire pirouetted through the smog and stench of hotdog vendors and alcohol ignited streets. A man in a hooded sweatshirt walked a dog at a hurried pace as if he were expected. Hundreds of others carried along fracturing the night to pieces with laughter and idiocy, heartbreak and lust.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Maurice Blanchot from The Gaze of Orpheus translation by Lydia Davis

"Remaining is not accessible to the one who dies. The deceased, we say, is no longer of this world, he has left it behind him, but what is left behind is precisely this cadaver, which is not of this world either--even though it is here--which is, rather, behind the world, something the living person (and not the deceased) has left behind him and which now affirms, on the basis of this, the possibility of a world behind, a return backwards, an indefinite survival, indeterminate, indifferent, about which we only know that human reality, when it comes to an end, reconstitutes its presence and proximity."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

some thoughts on "HERE" by DL, AH, HG,DB,TW, and SMH

i wld like to offer a few thoughts about a chapbook i recently read titled HERE, authored by six authors whose initials mark their poems throughout the chap. 
...the writing in HERE is concerned with boundaries (as perhaps all writing is?)...HERE is framed and inhabited by poems searching out questions of identity... "who am I?" or " who are we?"...the horizon of this work existing as the possibility for difference and agency...the poems acting as kinds of technologies for metamorphosis...machines for constructing the temporary nourishment needed for transformation...or more to my thinking...lacanian psychoanalytic linguistic instruments for transformations...these poems are the search for identities in self- and co-construction...identities in relation...identities in transformation...the possibility of the being-in-language as an gestural agent of liberty...but also...part of the action of this writing is also necessarily about the pain of transformation...the poems themselves harbingers of dark transmissions of personal these ways i'm reminded of the power of writing to aid memory as well as writing being a psychoanalytic tool for self discovery...Not simply reportage or journal entries of activities HERE is a collaborative poetry manuscript built upon a polyformal and multiplicitous potentiality...the forms utilized range from anaphora, list, lyric, prose, free verse, acrostic, the poetic play, the google search, epistolary, renga, and hybrids and variations of these to perfom a geography of body and of mind...but one in which the boundaries and horizons of the future are being formed...
Here are some of my favorite excerpts..
...From DL's "My Heart's Language"...
...Love isn't easy
It is hard to gain and lose
Our beliefs change
I can't believe that was me
Afraid of time
When she was scared
She was her mother
She was her own being
We just have to dig within our bodies
...From AH's "La, Mariposa, the butterfly woman"...
...i dreamed of a girl whose soft body opened like a cabinet
inside the cavity were embryos shining, daggers on
shelves and bags packed with the first green color of
this was the Skeleton Woman
she stretches from heaven to hell,
we're all here, here, here
...From HG's "Part 1"...
...She (the jumper) is already accepting, moving
on to the next moment in time, society places her back
and dwells like gulls in a stand still cold front unable to
fly out of it and enlisting her among their ever familiar V-
White Noise: Becoming a transfixion, an escape out of
hell. Rid the conscious mind of the tedious aspects of our 
tedious minds.
...From DB's "[Written in an address book]"...
...Stillness except for rocking,
Back and forth
Green, green, green, brown.
Darkened windows
A brick asylum
Darkened trees
Branches intertwined
Leaves cover every bit of light
Missing the escape holes...
...From TW's "[who am i?]"...
...I am a night owl who lives for the stars and
the crazy things that happen at night. I am a friend who
can be trusted until the end. I am on a journey to
discovery of what i want out of life. I am a girl who has
choices. I want to be free....
...From SMH's "Google Search"...
...You can't 
remember a time when your thoughts of purpose did not
include others. It is kind of a relief to feel sure of yourself
       You realize that we are all here for each other
and searching for a purpose. Suddenly a wave of 
exhaustion comes over you. You turn off the computer,
walk back to your room, and crawl into bed, soft and
...lastly here is the RENGA from HERE in its entirety...
Slick as a motherfucking architectural major
Building buildings off of my irises
I sometimes crave Newport's, but my
Mother and father completely disagree
I'm scared they might disown me
Let's pretend
This ended hopeful
My mom won't let me watch scary movies
She says their innapropriate
Just like church
I wish that black crows on their wires visited me oftener
And more than I would like, I find myself singing "wrong
She winces at my smoker-alto voice 
The overall theme and structure of the poems in this work remind and encourage a reading of the order of the lepidoptera (moths/butterflies) as examples of the ways in which horizons and boundaries shift after metamorphosis...the ritualistic passage from one stage to another carries within itself the solidification of new social bonds and the caterpillar the personal relation to the boundaries of the world is one of gravity and nourishment...while through the ritual metamorphosis the moth/butterfly becomes relative to new amazing and dangerous stimuli, the winds sway, the vastness of travel, the settling on a flower, the availability and dangers of greater accesses of flight...HERE as a book exists as a series of texts reinforcing a collective experience of relational ritual...the ritual of i read through the texts i view the diffracted angles of a shattered chrysalis...the poems of HERE are the pieces of a passed through is an architecture for passing through, for passing time...but one marked with a horizon that is about to be architecture with internal folds and excesses left as marks of the vast machinery of socio/biological (mis)understandings and frustrations that contribute to the shifting boundaries of an identity in...about....and beyond...transformation...
...i want to thank Tim Armentrout for sending this book to me...HERE is a testament to the powers of the imagination...the power to create your own path...the power to understand the paths of others...the power to continue to become...

Friday, May 22, 2009

From Facebook (my apologies)

(from Charles Bernstein)- Thanks to Univ. of Calif. Press, PEPC Library is able to make available this key Robin Blaser essay on Olson and Whitehead. I tried to get the html as close to the book as possible, but let me know if you see any errors. Robin Blaser -- The Violets
fromThe Fire: Collected Essays of Robin Blaserr, ed. Miriam Nichols Univeristy of California Press, 2006. PEPC Digitial Publication of one essay from the book.

Friday, May 08, 2009

robin blaser
man of love
May 18 1925 - May 7 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

:::::::I HEART ANSELM HOLLO::::::::


"those who rule the symbols rule us"--william burroughs

"if i surround an area with a fence or a line or otherwise the purpose may be to prevent someone from getting in or out. but it may also be part of a game and the players be supposed to jump over the boundary."--ludwig wittgenstein

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

:: fromfiftyfarmsreviewed ::

Home Video Review of Books (scroll down)

ellectrique press


and if you want to read some of silliman & co. briefly meander around (but not actually into) RecollecTed//CaGeD click here blah, blah

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


[after listening to spicer's vancouver lectures for the umpteenth time today i found myself chuckling outloud at one of spicer's baseball analogies...and like usual...i mostly agree with him...but for the sake of spring...with baseball season having just begun...i'll recount the analogy here...] excerpted from lecture 3 part 2 june 17 1965

questioner: ...if you know what you want why is it wrong...this is what i can't quite follow?...

spicer: ...well on account of the fact that i ain't myself only...i'm a member of a team and ted williams always knew what he wanted and the red sox never did win the pennant...(pause)...i'm sorry but let's face it...

questioner: lay off ted williams that's all...

spicer: he gave that marvelous finger...uh...i was there in boston when he was giving was a marvelous finger...but if you get any hits in front of him or behind him...he still stayed at the plate and uh took it very easy and you know he'd take a base on balls if he wanted a base on balls because he felt he clnd't get a hit and uh it wldn't matter if the red sox had a one run deficit and it was the ninth inning or anything else he wld still take the base on balls and that kind of thing...and he was a goddamn lousy team player...uh which is nice...but i don't really think that it wrks uh if you wanna win pennants and i think that i do and my poetry does...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where the Light Is, Part 1

"Oscillating and how": Elizabeth Guthrie’s Yellow and Red: A Poetic Play
(Black Lodge Press, 2oo8)
A Review by Andy Peterson

Pre-faces: Stages, and Codas of no after-thought. Of thought itself, as in: august and autumnal humming, warming orchestras with audience noise – a bright fit of laughter here, a dry cough there, mouths around popcorn going munch-munch – of definable objects and indefinable gestures, of being within feeling, to which only the imagination holds; without her, imagination, really, where would we be?

The cozy theater of the mind that stages the world, as in: "All the world’s a..."

we, who trust this, settle in to that familiar soft command, the conductor’s tap-tap-tap upon the stand, and we begin...

Poet Elizabeth Guthrie’s chapbook, Yellow and Red: A Poetic Play, released with elegant and loving craft by Black Lodge Press, 2008, creates a dreamy real-state site of hybrid-ditty, a calmly surreal series of performances/stagings/happenings, a confirmation that art becomes life becomes art becomes life becomes art. Difficult to summate such a uniquely inventive work, so to quote the text, in its most approximate descriptions of Self: a ""Lyric Touching Realic", or "The surface of reflection as precursory indication of the actual."

Y&R moves through four organic stages of constructions, represented by the elements of the four seasons ("an experience of phenomenon"), the abstractions of the titular colors become speaking characters alongside the inanimate – instruments, "Empty Paper Cup", and the centrifugal stage construction of an autumnal dandelion – and the animate – Conductor Ren Juffalo and Concertmaster Barry Alitzer, whose dialogues and movements explore the mysteries of moments – that is, the Eternal Moment– in change, the constant creativity of life, with the image-nation of ethereal word play.

Guthrie draws upon such happily varied avant-garde philosophies of performance artists and poets like Andre Breton, John Cage, Meredith Monk, Yoko Ono, and Gertrude Stein, who one could argue pioneered the form. The poetic play: more than just a narrative drama set in verse; a postmodern hybrid akin to the prose poem, which raises the stakes of relationships between language, page, and stage: a tuned stand-in for the physical world.

Y&R puts these elements in motion, elevates language from the page and into space, like music, and like feedback, reflects and inflects of change there occur. The finale, like all great art, asks us for our own answers to its tantalizing questions as we leave the theatre, marveling at compressions, voices in wires, constructions and reflections, and alerting us to possibilities of the lyric in everyday life, "oscillating(,) and how."

. . .

To order, visit our friends at Black Lodge Press

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Hey everyone....Touch Me is out, but Blazevox has not yet enabled the purchasing site (you can find blurbs and cover image in the soon-to-be released area of blazevox catalogue) so i thought i'd offer to anyone interested...send me a check for sixteen dollars to

19 Chateau Terrace So.
Amherst, NY 14226

...and i'll send you a copy of Touch Me, no shipping payment necessary, plus this allows me a bit of a payoff which is always nice...thanks to all who encouraged and endured this crazy text...much love goonnation

Friday, March 06, 2009

Tim Armentrout joins Livestock Editions as Co-Editor

Welcome, Tim!

from "Pioneers of Modern Poetry" Edited with notes & a preface by Robert L. Peters and George Hitchcock (A Kayak book, c. 1967)

Measurements of Large Mammals


Circumference of neck
below the head
Circumference of neck
in front of the chest
Circumference of body
behind the fore legs
Circumference of body
before the hind legs

The circumference
of the
is always recorded
also of the head
in front of
the ears

Humerus and femur
for the knobs
of the humerus and femur
and measure
the distance
between them

feel for the knob

of the femur
and then
the center line


feel for the knob

should be taken again
after the animal
has been skinned.

Length of the back
is made by beginning
at the base of the skull
along the line of the back
to the base of the tail

Length of tail
is always a

a mammal
is to be
by the dermo-

(from "Methods in the Art of Taxidermy", 1894.)
"The Measurement of Large Mammals" deals with a problem which so far as we
know is entirely original in poetry. The subject matter is so basic that the work
might well be a part of a longer poem on Noah appointing the specimens for the
ark, or on Adam and Eve taking inventory in the Garden of Eden. Oliver Davie
writes with a marvellous unenigmatic sureness; he knows precisely where the
various measurements of these mammals are to be taken and exactly how one
detects say the position of humerus and femur by feeling the living, as opposed
to prehistoric, animal. There is absolutely nothing blind here; Davie is not another
of those legendary Orientals mistaking the physical parts of the elephant for
entirely incongruous things. He knows his craft intimately, whether it be writing
or taxidermy. On of his delights is the superbly handled repetition of key words
and phrases. The opening stanza is a structural marvel based upon repeated motifs
combined with sentence units of approximately the same length and syllabic
arrangement. Further, one is impressed by the neat logical progression of parts
from head to legs to back to tail. There is something clean and neat about this
entire performance. We feel assured in the hands of this master, and are nearly
willing to allow him to take our own measurements along the lines he describes.
In fact, his gentleness is so appealing that we may even crave to have ourselves
stuffed by him. Is this illusion, however, or is it delusion? A quality does emerge
slowly from these lines not entirely unlike lust, and one comes to wonder whether
sodomy isn't the writer's true subject. In fact, the more one considers it, the more
anxious one grows. See the material in part 2 which advises repeated feelings of the
knob, striking the center line, and feeling the knob again. And doesn't one detect a
sort of lustful snigger behind the block capitals of "ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
MEASUREMENTS / WHICH CAN BE RECORDED" ? Davie seems to be cruising for
contacts. The last line of this section -- we blush to say it -- may refer to the nasty
business of drawing back the prepuce of the horse, bull, tiger, elephant, etc. Finally,
there is absolutely no concealment in section 3: by "the dermoplastic method", the
affixing of skin to skin, the "mammal" (note the wonderful equivocation here -- as we
suspected, humans are included) "is to be / mounted". Penetration is, of course, one
such "dermoplastic method". If it were not for the consummate artistry of this
exceptional poem we would surely have excluded it. Our criterion has been through-
out that quality of execution supersedes content; and we can only hope that the vast
majority of readers will agree that we are justified in allowing this disturbing poem to
appear in print. Finally, it does illustrate a contemporary principle -- that no subject
matter ought to be excluded by the poet, no matter how potentially disgusting or perverse.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


for Jared Hayes

I. Wry Savages
The bats always come back, making music by striking against footprints
Filling the world with the humor for a low intrigue
The emergence of lover and assassin, a congress of empty rooms
Useless and therefore trustworthy
A problem confronting an imaginary sex
[line accepted though obscured for continuity]
In circuits—ever, however, someone plays the piano
Of the occupation reasons which the stars permit
An unpropitiated snuggling of a greater anemone
To the unscrambled accidents of the obvious
Your rhythmic bedroom is nursery to flesh, girl flesh
Wolf flesh, meat in the doorway, spilling into the orchard
The smell of autumn, a vicious banquet of proposition
A dining room of Sawako candles,
The accuracy of arrangement pauses to remember
Parched vessels of the ocean’s milk cuff
Into which we reach, discounting the confluence of fluids
“Its hints of earlier and other creation:”
Backbones slither glittering, rough and cool
Wings clamor the city’s foam glee
The more delicate view is nothing if not ambitious before the crime
On the suburban tennis court of your spirited pasts
Where the gears of voices have unhinged the attractor
Of The Modern Empress Disaster
Unzip your victims
And puff on them a bit until the room begins to sparkle
Is the sparkle of your spirited past
Heard frigging an ambitious vaginal scroll
That reads: dear Keith, on second thought…
Form is the language of captors
So write me a letter, I’m feeling sad tonite
Heaving groaner drawn into narrative
Rounding homewards, the bats always come back
The oppression of punctuation without words
Their attack and decay resembles violins
Strummed by the unhurried inquisition of lovers’
Milkswell, untimed
Tightly strung, tighter
Than anxious shores
Calculating an epithet or act
That proceeds, more or less on its own,
To suspend the mean and sleazy,
To precede the day when the rat is on its side
Before the morning watch bends backward for a kiss
From within the milkswell, the rose fire burns;
That is and was a stumbling into position
That burning
Is a model of Helen Adam

This glass is holding only time, the soundless end to it,
Echoes in slow fall leaves,
Dropping motionless, the repetition of a question
The scene of the apartment with all those people in it
The continuum of bone lacquered like an arm chair
Oh heartland television of Missouri, we grovel at your ugly festivals

There is no end to your museum of organized space
In rebellion the virtual sum
Would somehow explain eating metaphor
As onslaughts of matter deteriorate
The most delirious consumed quietly by earthbound branches
Unforgiven crude constructions of this beast

To play or perform the failing
The something monitor sitting down as clothing
An unattached devotion for the young and loving man that the wolf ate
Smuggled into the poem by the salesman of authorship
Undeniably listening as the warm blood welled
Around the steaming legs bitten by jumping music

Where ends the breasts of reckless men
Scraped bundles of fur my lover leaves
Cleaning talons over shallow banks
Of latticed blood around the mouthing action
Of dancing girls and singing boys
Of bats we seek in sheets as if to feed the cat

Think of them despite footsteps falling light
In warping blue industry domestic
The shallow unchanging taste of her kiss
Joke. “Drying sails at dockage:”
Spilling the debt of a savage bed
Where the imagined pedestrian-you turns orange

Bail lily fields of one magnificent prize
Spilling silver from a fountain to a silver screen
As Thomas Culpepper sprang from the crocus
Onto the slanted playground of the dead
Where bone prayer is made payable only
On Halleluiah day

As it flows from thought to ear to tongue
To ear balanced of a christened raving
A partial fallacy adored and dreaded in worship
As the warm math of honeymoon
Lilies dance as they tread
Sinking higher always at the wrong time
Fruition of night beneath a haunted wave
A hungry ghost dreaming in the forest
Lilting rhyme trembled in the absence of meaning
The nectar of the carrion suite restores dissent
In a form that longed for no lover
And obscures nothing of its envy for the bats
The crust of the moon, and mortal wound
Found in the kitchen mixed inside a bowl
Unforgiving of the grizzly dance of their captors
Found drowned return in charge clear
A backward look crawled through a keyhole crack
Elbow notch above a flowering boner
The primitive terror of coeds and kerosene
Caught in a down under looming
A bundle of tantalizing contradictions
Of Baroque nods and looks of explicit knowledge
Permanent as morgue attendants
Lighting skulls secretly behind mirrors
The agony of another heads from the body
To bridge shadow tastes, black slashes in sky
An active flicker in the bone
Reluctance, light of moonless knowledge
Attrition between legs of muscular bodies
Calmed in the meeting space of sleep
Mitigate and shock, restore
Small semblances of truth to the crumbling republic
To the barn, to the crow’s bitter apple
Dropped along the eyelash of the shore
Waves washing over them confidently
Running to the fluid notions of land
Navigating vacancy
Dissolving lines of odors trail among the house
Parting the curtains, for the doll won’t rest

- Joseph Cooper & Andy Peterson

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Buddha Says, "Happeph Brrphderph Jarry Hayrph! Ern Hrrph Groondhoph Derph!"

I think what Budda is trying to say is,
"Happy Birthday, Jared Hayes!
Happy Groundhog Day!"

May your birthday bring you

Friday, January 30, 2009

how the hell is everyone??

C as in closure and concensus
they ran their fingers
to gain smell

Monday, January 26, 2009

Poetry Reading In Portland

Spare Room presents

Laynie Browne
Jared Hayes

Sunday, February 1
7:30 pm

Concordia Coffee House
2909 NE Alberta

$5.00 suggested donation

Laynie Browne is the author of seven collections of poetry and one novel. Her most recent publications include The Scented Fox (Wave), Daily Sonnets (Counterpath) and Drawing of a Swan Before Memory (University of Georgia). She was for many years a member of the Subtext Collective in Seattle, and now is part of the POG reading series in Tucson. She is currently developing a new a poetry-in-the-schools program for K-5 schools, through the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona.

jared hayes lives in portland, oregon. he is publisher and co-editor of livestock editions. jared hayes believes in ghosts. his poetry can be found.


from Radiolarian Atlas

Petalospyris arachnoides

Descending claw
spider thrift
Ten-legged trope
with triceratops leanings

Inside your yellow-chambered
soirée is a bouncing
reverie of a ballroom
O hidden balustrade,
from whose aquamarine invitation
was this divine gathering sung?

Laynie Browne

from night after night

mesostic transpsych(ot)ic iteration

this is the best leJos to do things. this is the very best ecerrAda to do things. this is the very best sIempre to do things exactly poeMa transparEncia now and excluSiva is the night acercAdo doing the night dEstino and this is the night illumiNan doing the night veZ at the night caJa and these are the night brAzos at the night imagIna and this is the night Mascara doing the night Escribe at the night Seno in the night rosAs and these are the night tormEnta doing the night muNdo to the night quiZa at the night refleJaba and these are the estrellA that are exactly night and these exactly night habIta are doing their Muerte which is night and carnE is the night poSa to oscuridAd at the night gravE which is night now and night now cuerNos is exactly night night now where atroZ is.

Jared Hayes

"There wouldn’t be an experimental poetry scene to speak of here without Spare Room, which brings to town readers from the same tribe that tends to circulate between the Poetry Project or Segue Series in New York, Small Press Traffic and 21 Grand in San Francisco, Subtext in Seattle, Kootenay in Vancouver, In Your Ear or Ruthless Grip in DC, I.E. in Baltimore, Woodland Pattern in Milwaukie, Myopic in Chicago, or The Smell in L.A., just to name a very few. The fact that that’s only a few—that there’s a network of “Spare Rooms” across the nation—indicates the health, really the lifeblood, of a poetry culture the media and arts funding biz more or less ignore.

While I’d like to see the poets who travel here get paid more, there’s a bliss in that ignorance, too: the fundamentals of the poetry economy Spare Room’s a part of remain sound despite downturns, budget cuts, shifting enrollments, shrinking bequests or bloating windfalls. As Portland collects more arts refugees from the big cities, I hope Spare Room carries on for 100 more." --rodney koeneke

for more about spare room visit their website spare room

and read rodney koeneke's modern americans blogmodampo...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

mesostic transpsych(ot)ic iteration

for Jaime Saenz after Lisa Jarnot's Right Poem

this is the best leJos to do things. this is the very best ecerrAda to do things. this is the very best sIempre to do things exactly poeMa transparEncia now and excluSiva is the night acercAdo doing the night dEstino and this is the night illumiNan doing the night veZ at the night caJa and these are the night brAzos at the night imagIna and this is the night Mascara doing the night Escribe at the night Seno in the night rosAs and these are the night tormEnta doing the night muNdo to the night quiZa at the night refleJaba and these are the estrellA that are exactly night and these exactly night habIta are doing their Muerte which is night and carnE is the night poSa to oscuridAd at the night gravE which is night now and night now cuerNos is exactly night night now where atroZ is.

a quick note from michel de certeau...on bosch's garden...

(click on picture for a closer look)

"Despite our knowledge of the iconography of the late middle ages, we have here the "pure and simple volatilization of meanings." Wilhelm Fraenger concurs, but, being an acute observer, on the lookout for anything that might "signify," he wants to force the "mute oracle" to speak nonetheless. His dictionary-machine (this "means" that) constrains each signifier to confess to a signified, thus transforming the painting into the transcription of a textual system. For others, and the best of them at that, such as Dirk Bax, the secret ofThe Garden arouses a rapt attention to its details. It is the labor of a Sysiphus, curiosity trapped in the cryptogram-rebus. This painting plays on our need to decipher. It enlists in its service a western drive to read. The meticulous proliferation of its figures calls irresistibly for indefinite narrativizing, whether it be that of a folklorist, a linguist, a historian, or a psychologist. This narrativizing, by countless erudite convolutions, makes each iconographic element tell a meaningful story. Like the discourse that is produced on the basis of dream fragments, the literature on The Garden is an endless series of stories elicited by some detail or other of the painting. Using a great many references, works, and readable documents, that literature produces its learned stories on the basis of pictorial fragments. Lettered stories seemed endlessly generated by The Garden of Delights. In point of fact, these scholarly tales (the thousand and one nights of erudition) follow, or postpone, or deny the moment when the pleasure of seeing is the death of meaning...

...The Garden cannot be reduced to univocity. It offers a multiplicity of possible itineraries, the traces of which, as in a labyrinth, would constitute so many stories, until one comes to a dead end that marks a forbidden meaning. But there is something more here. The painting seems both to provoke and frustrate each one of these interpretive pathways. It not only establishes itself within a difference in relation to all meaning; it produces its difference in making us believe that it contains hidden meaning."--from the mystic fable